Fort Defiance - Clarksville, TN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ggmorton
N 36° 32.511 W 087° 22.378
16S E 466616 N 4044114
A Civil War Trails sign at the Fort Defiance Interpretive Center in Clarksville, TN.
Waymark Code: WM18DK3
Location: Tennessee, United States
Date Posted: 07/13/2023
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 0

"These are the remnants of Union Fort Bruce. In September 1861, the Confederate defense line in the western theatre extended from Columbus, Kentucky, to Cumberland Gap in East Tennessee. It included most of the Cumberland River and protected the Memphis, Clarksville, and Louisville Railroad, as well as the major supply base at Nashville. The three small forts constructed at Clarksville were integral parts of this perimeter.

Confederate Gen. Albert S. Johnston ordered West Point - trained engineer Maj. Jeremy F. Gilmer to "arrange the works for the defense at Dover, Clarksville, and Nashville." Gilmer hired an experienced civilian, Edward Sayers, to execute the construction. Sayers constructed Fort Sevier on a hill overlooking the Cumberland and Red rivers, Fort Clark south of here where the two rivers merged, and Fort Terry northeast of here on the Red River. In January 1862, Sayers reported, "work progressing very well now; 200 slaves and 50 soldiers at work; 24 - pounders mounted; on 12 - pounder also mounted."

After the fall of Fort Donelson on February 16, 1862, the Union navy headed upstream for Clarksville. Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote found the fort deserted and flying a white flag. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered the other earthworks destroyed but spared Fort Sevier. In December 1862, Col. Sanders D. Bruce's brigade command expanded the fort and occupied it for the rest of the war. Renamed Fort Bruce, it provided a safe haven for local freedmen, many of whom joined the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT). Later called Fort Defiance, the origin of the name is unclear."
From: pictured sign

For more information: (visit link)
Type of site: Museum

120 Duncan St
Clarksville, TN USA

Phone Number: (931) 472-3351

Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Driving Directions: Not listed

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